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The Reluctant Futurist


Monty Munford

This week on The Futurists we are joined by renowned journalist and a true renaissance man, Monty Munford. Monty has appeared on the BBC, written for Forbes, The Telegraph and contributed to TechCrunch, Mashable, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Wired, MIT Technology Review, The Independent, The Guardian, Financial Times, and The Times of India. He explains why he's had to become a futurist to do his day job better, and why tech continues to be so disruptive to our social order.

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this week on the futurists Monty Manford even though I'm a bit terrified
of generative AI I am not going to ignore it and I am not going to be beem moan it I'm going to be part of it and I
want other people to be part of it as [Music]
well all right well welcome back to the futurist this week uh we we are bringing
one of our mates onto the show um welcome back Rob good to see you
br um we are we we're recording a ton of stuff lately so um a lot of good content
in the in the can but today um we are bringing on a friend of ours an
unconventional um futurist a international Man of Mystery I think of
him as the I think of him as the UN futurist the UN futurist and and a uh a
world-renowned journalist has done work with the BBC amongst others uh and uh um
you know um obviously on the speaking circuit and so forth Monty Manford
welcome to the futurists thank you Brett it's lovely to see you on screen as suppos in the flesh
you were at my club a couple of weeks ago well we did you know we did catch up in London um you know a couple of weeks
ago which was was was great it's it's been a while and of course you know we had a bit of a uh a re a reunion of
sorts of a bunch of um um you know speaking guys on the speaking circuit as
well so which is always good fun okay which club in London for the Curious the
Cy the century Club it's for the co for the cool guys Rob so you have so you
have so house down the road the grou show club which is the literary Club but the centry club is a bit media but it's
got the best roof roof top Terrace in London it's like amazing actually just but just by big ailly circus right on
that sounds like a fun yeah you're welcome anytime anytime I will host you there here in La we're finally starting
to copy that idea of a club and it makes a good deal of sense because there are a lot of people in La who don't want to go
to a restaurant because they'll get hassled absolutely and so um they're doing the same concept it's basically
they just lifted the concept from the from London and replicated it here private I mean to be honest if if if you
go to about five members Club within you know 100 me you know it's great but I
like the centy you but I like the idea the UN futurist Rob I I was going to
call myself The Reluctant futurist just like The Reluctant Fundamentalist that's exactly
how I think of you uh you look at all these novel Technologies with um kind of a questioning mind you know you you you
look at them you say well hang on a second here let's let's rethink this let be cautious about how we proceed there's
so much new technology coming at us now uh it feels like a flood right and um
and I often wonder how much of this stuff we want or need what's your take on the current like what put your finger
on the pulse and tell us how are things from your Viewpoint from your Viewpoint in London right now well I think I mean
I think that I've have had probably about five years of trying to do as many analog things as possible because I you
know before the pandemic I was you know I was I was going into shops I was using
apps you know I got collect my own food buy my own my own clothes because I
thought there was a storm coming and I think that's clearly been accelerated by the pandemic yeah uh and people are
getting used to living I mean people are kind of quite happy to let this
technology Reign generative AI because that is the wordily disruptive and I
think it's already disruptive you know what I mean absolutely yeah it's uh it's
beyond disruption now it's almost like overwhelm I think people have been uh shocked into submission you know
we're s we're stunned by the new and the pandemic was a part of that where we start to begin to become passive we just
accept those new these new things that are thrust on us well that's probably a good point we just normally cover off
some news items Monty so let's uh do that quickly and then um you know we'll
dive back into the [Music] conversation I I had a news item which
appeared in the uh New York Times this week um which is news of a in a new
study researchers used a device to connect um the brain of a paralyzed man
back to you know through his D damaged spinal cord using a cortical modem or digital Bridge um bypassing injured
sections of his spinal cord enabling him to walk he's been paralyzed for 12 years
so this is uh you know this is a long-term um injury the gentleman in
question um he's uh he's based in Switzerland his name is g g Yan and um
the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology helped uh build these special
um cortical modems or cortical modem um technology uh uh to enable him to um to
walk again which is uh pretty incredible yeah that's astounding so it's a it's a
a cortical modem that enables a paralyzed person to walk that's quite a recovery absolutely okay well bright
news here I got a couple news items as well for you bre this week um might be fun to share first one is
RoboCop and I'm not kidding you uh here in Los Angeles uh the LA Police
Department got a donation of a quadruped uh unmanned ground vehicle uh that we
would all call a robot dog you've seen them from Boston Dynamics those scary things that kind of walk relentlessly a
little bit like the Terminator uh so um the police got this thing as a gift and the LA City Council had to vote whether
or not to allow the police to use it and they did they just voted 84 to accept
the donation of a four-legged robot dog for the use by the LA City police in
their SWAT department now they haven't described what it's going to do um but they did say that it will not ever be
used uh for lethal situations and it won't be loaded with lethal weapons thanks for that because I really don't
want a robot dog with guns coming after me thank you for your cooperation and for those who are interested in buying
one these come at the at the Hefty price point of $278,000 so that's that's quite a
donation uh you know LA Police is interesting in the sense that they've been testing lots of different Technologies from license plate readers
to drones there was a moment in about 10 years ago when the city of Seattle uh
had bought a fleet of drones that the that the citizens rejected they went uh they resisted that and so they ended up
donating to the Los Angeles police who very happily accepted them uh so here we have it robot cup next story is blood
boy U blood boy this is uh really kind of gruesome and weird uh there is a
multi-millionaire Tech entrepreneur a guy named Brian Johnson is here on the West Coast he's about 45 years old and
he wants to reverse aging and he has been experimenting quite publicly uh and
quite openly with every type of Rejuvenation technology that's available yeah he's been willing to spend $2
million a year to do this um but his latest Gambit is to transfer blood from
his son he has a 17-year-old son and they transfer a liter of blood at a time
uh from the son to the 45y old father but they don't stop there they then take the blood from the 45y old father and
transfer it to his 70-year-old father so we've got three generations of blood transfusions happening and they
literally take the liquid plasma followed by red blood cells white blood cells and platlets and um yeah this is
kind of an extraordinary process that he's documenting so it's not like it's a secret or anything but there is this
kind of creepy vampire vibe to it and um and it's not helped by the fact that a lot of tech entrepreneurs have been
talking about speculating about uh this kind of thing you know and it it sounds
it just sounds like the kind of weird thing of weird creepy Rich well you had that pet teal um you know New Blood
thing Young Blood thing what was it called Ambrosia you know where they and but that that's out of business now
because it was shut down by the FDA but um there does appear to be therapeutic
benefits from um yeah the science is yet unproven though this is like way out
there right so plenty of scientists are like hang on that's a little bit risky um wasn't wasn't there a story about The
Rolling Stones doing that years ago going going over going to Switzerland and get blood uh transfusions that would
certainly explain how Keith Richards managed stay a pray his biggest problem is his uh
alcohol blood content right that's right he's preserved he's already in balmed so
uh The Last Story here is actually quite timely because you know in Los Angeles we're having a Writers Guild strike and
among the among the um elements of that strike is a protest against the Advent of AI in the screenwriting process uh
the writers want to be able to control they're not seeking to ban it but that is part of their their objections that's the first uh Union uh labor action
against automation like that against AI well as it turns out another uh group
has been displaced already so today we have the first uh company that has fired its entire staff and replace them by a
chatbot uh there's a um there's a call center a call line for the national
eating disorder Association and this week they fired their entire staff uh the staff had been under great great
deal of stress since the coid pandemic uh dealing with people who have eaing disorders they get about 70,000 calls a
month and they do provide very important support for them because some of those people require multiple calls multiple
interventions U the stuff the staff themselves were feeling kind of stressed out and so they decided to unionize devoted to unionize and in a preemptive
strike the management of that Association came in and said No in fact we're going to terminate the entire staff and replace you with a chatbot
called Tessa that was developed by the University of Washington medical school and even the people that developed that
uh chatbot they're very quick to point out that this will not replace a human in terms of the quality of care or the
kind of attentiveness it's not chat GPT so it's not as responsive it's just as prescripted bot so there's a lot of
questions being raised right now about whether this is uh an adequate solution uh at any rate that's happening here so
from uh from the west coast of the United States we've got all these crazy stories this week you know the the end
of collective bargaining or or the limits on collective bargaining and attack on trade unions in the 1970s is
one of the biggest reasons why wage growth has basically been stagnant in the the United States and and the UK
arguably you know since since the 1980s um so for an economy that praises the
free market um so frequently um
limiting uh the rights of employees to negotiate uh better uh better rates and
and better quality of employment and better conditions is not very free market in my my thinking so well you
know it's interesting it's a measure how much we've been conditioned to think um in this neoconservative way you the
neoliberal policy their view is you know it's all about private Enterprise um and
and and reducing the role of government and government interventions and of course that that's been the prevailing
um economic theory in the US since the since the 70s as you point out uh and we
can trace income in equality to that exact same moment the undoing of unions the the loss of collective bargaining
rights several Supreme Court decisions that are against Union organizations so all that added up together makes it
tough you look at what's happening with um you know the founder of Starbucks in
the Congressional hearings on this stuff lately you know it's it is a it is a significant problem in the US but anyway
let's get back to our guest Monty Monty so Monty um have you
unionized well I've always been a union man there's a great song in the UK charts when I was a kid I'm a union man
and I shall fight for it while I can so I think that's another thing that that goes with the future you know the the
beautiful kind of socialist idealist utopian society I was expecting and I
went on a Kut as when I was 22 years of age it's just got worse and worse and
worse and worse and worse yeah you know the agenda is the same and and I I fear
I mean those are pretty terrible stories that you just said they're robbed from the West Coast I mean whe whether it's
vampires or whether it's something else I don't know but you know there's not much there's not a great deal of good
news out there but um so I think you know as a reluctant futurist I've
decided not to put my head in the sand and I've decided to join the show and
I'm going to be part of it what what do you what do you think Monty about the potential for um Technology based
unemployment generally you know Rob Rob the chat GPT thing I was I was watching Corridor crew which is a um you know La
group of um um you know uh CGI artists and so forth engineers and and one of
the engineers was demonstrating some new AI based video processing technology and
he showed that a previous um work he'd done which had taken him an entire year
to produce this this movie with CGI he could now do that in 8 days with with AI
based Tech you know so there is there is definitely um you know I I there's
definitely going to be broad impact across many areas with with AI and and sort of the Techno employment but you
hear a lot of economists argue well we've always created new jobs in the past and so forth but um I'm I'm a I'm a
skeptic when it comes to our ability to create enough jobs quickly enough to replace the speed of which AI is going
to disrupt employment what are your thoughts well well see I've I've been speaking to some experts recently
there's a Danish guy uh in Copenhagen called Frederick R Pederson he's the
founder and CEO of a company called easy translate which you would think like they must be right in the crosshairs
here you know what I mean a translation company done but this guy he's got some
very interesting ideas I mean I was telling him a story about friend of mine
uh who's 15-year-old had instead of cheating on chat gbt she had put an
essay into chat gbt and said Mark my essay now that's a little bit of Genius
right because she comes back with like your addiction's okay your syntax and the Ty POS or whatever but have you have
you thought about this Source or there's this Source on the internet so basically she harnessed it she prompted it as an
engineer of sorts uh to get something better for herself right um and that's a
way of thinking you know that that I think is there's going to be humans involved so what Frederick is doing with
his company is that he's kind of you know he's absolutely realizes that they're not pivoting from a translation
company well they kind of are to a Content company but creating content and then putting humans in the loop in so
much the you know generative Ai and the humans in the loop will kind of roll together and create something better but
apart from what he's doing with his company was he was quite interesting that he thinks that the the future is
open- Source Ai and instead of it being large language machines it's more likely
going to be small language machines that are probably cheaper better I mean it's pretty expensive to get into check gbt
you know what I mean as it as it is and that's already happening I mean there in the last two months ever since um ever
since meta's Lama model was released domain inadvertently you know someone
someone broke uh the agreement and just posted it on on forchan um and as a result there's been
this proliferation now of open- source AI tools so much so Monty that it's impossible to keep up I was trying to
check them all out every day but there are now more than a hundred new products released a day or 100 new apps releas
absolutely it's astonishing and now this whole newsletters that are devoted to this topic so you can also fill your
inbox with news about new AI things it's a little bit overwhelming I I want to respond to what you just said about um
the teenager who was using chat GPT to improve her writing so there's no question right these tools can be useful
and particular if you're not a great writer they can be very useful because they'll make an average writer better I don't know if they help a good writer
that much but you know you can improve someone who's below average um but it comes at a cost and this is one of the
things I'm quite curious about because you have to retool right you have to you have to adjust your workflow you're
going to hear this word workflow a lot in the next few months uh because everybody around the world is going to have to adapt their workflow to
incorporate AI that means we have to learn new things um and and bear in mind nobody asked for this right none of us
said oh GE I'd like to change the way I do my work uh whether it's an attorney or a coder or a graphic designer or a
copywriter or a screenwriter all these people are going to have to adapt to AI but you won't do it once you're going to
do it continuously because there's new tools being launched constantly and so what's happening is we're being put on a
treadmill where we have to constantly upgrade and upskill then we've had a couple guests on the show who have been
quite uh blunt about this saying yeah that's how it's going to be suck it up get used to it because that's the future
I'm just not sure this is a future that everybody wants I think there were quite a few people who are quite content with their skill level and we we're making a
very good living but now they're finding that they have no choice in the matter if you want to stay competitive and viable you're going to have to upskill
constantly what's your take on that well I I would go back to conversation I had with Phil libbin probably about 15 years
ago um we were you know when he was the early stage of otes and we were just
talking at CTI I think that's where I met you rob many years ago
probably God those were the days um and and he was saying that you know like the future is bright you know knowledge
workers such as you uh and me were going to be fine entrepreneurial you know
basically intelligent people um but I fear about the knowledge worker you know
what I mean I consider myself one I I I I'm a mentor angel investor I'm a
part-time VC I write for The Economist and the BBC and coin Telegraph and
crypto am uh I've got a massive Network that helps people raise money uh I can
you know there's a lot of things I don't just do one thing but all of those silos all those facets or aspects of my So-Cal
career are under huge threat I mean what if I I think of myself as a kind of
Scruffy futurist or a scruffy um portfolio guy is that my network is
amazing right and maybe what my skill is is being able to use that Network to connect two people that wouldn't
normally meet each other you know that's very difficult sometimes to connect the right people um and I do it in a certain
way creativ are very difficult to monetize well it I've always found it
okay to monetize uh Brett I'm happy to offer you a webinar offline if you want me to tell you how to do
it you can you can show me how to raise my feet speak no problem um but but it's
it's what about what about if cat gbt goes through my network and and comes up
with a better way for my network to connect with each other without me I mean that's pretty damning that's pretty
bad for me you know and I and I'm not 22 right i' I've I've managed to change the
internet changed my life because i' had spent the first 15 of my years my life on the road and trying to have his
history and memories which I which I look back on with utter love now I'm
glad that I did it when I could my son's been traveling his 20 at University and he's you know he's got the bug of the
road as well but it's a very different Road and I don't want to be an old guy that just says you know like it's the
devil's work and you know it's you know ruining Humanity but I'm kind of with you a bit rob you know what I mean it's
not a particularly beautiful future especially if you don't have any money
you know especially if you don't have a pot or anything like that you know what's what's the future it's I mean I
probably someone will come up with some genius and and you know I I'll I'll I'll tag along but yeah it it's it's a it's a
difficult time I think the the rate of um Innovation is obviously speeding up um
and and as you say you know like the requirement to update your skills and
remain relevant is getting tougher and tougher you know and the where I find
the issue with this is let's take let's take truck drivers you know in in the States you know what is it um 2 and a
half 3 million transcontinental truck drivers these are drivers that drive from the east coast to West Coast all
the time um they're at risk from autonomous vehicles at some point in the
next decade um and you know as uh um you
know others have pointed out the the ability to take those truck drivers and turn them into coders what
what percentage realistically of those truck drivers is going to want to become a programmer 5% you know um and so what
happens to to the others um well there might be a transition period for a time where they have to sit in these
autonomous vehicles um you know just uh you know babysitting the load or
something um but you know that that sort of thing is going to play itself out across the um across
different Industries and you not you can't necessarily retra yourself within
your profession either you know within this it may require you to look at it
sort of completely different type of work you know there's the argument for the gigging economy and things like that
and and of course Ubi as a mechanism but it's not it's not very straight it's not straightforward
and uh you know a lot of people are going to be challenged by this for sure
well I would add to that I mean it's changing Behavior right you know if you if you if you I mean there's going to be
some form of rebellion against this I think you know I think wasn't there a robot that was hitching across North
America and got smashed up you know there's yeah yeah that was cute a cute
robot that could hitchhike and then finally demolish the damn thing I you know I mean I think I see you know the
robot uh delivery vehicles that deliver groceries and stuff I I don't know how
in markets like the States they're going to until we get used to the that all
over La I keep seeing teenagers turn them on their side or they flip them over on their head and then the thing is stuck it's like a turtle but I would go
but I'd go with the behavioral aspect of it all right if you're finding it difficult to get a job and maybe youbi
will come in or whatever I mean what other reason is there for only fans to be probably the biggest growing website
on the planet you know what I mean people are just saying right I can't get a normal job you know let let I'll just
put my body on the Internet or I'll I'll I'll do something else just to get some micro well this this is the argument for
Ubi right Universal basic income you know but uh of course that it has has
other problems we always come back to that you know I'm um I don't want to get
in I'm gonna resist the temptation there I'm not gonna take the bait Brett of this time we should do a show we should
do a show on the topic we should we should Hey so uh so Monte one thing we
like to do on this show is for our audience to get to know our guests a little bit better we do a series of
short questions and these are these are questions that are about you and what inspired you and what got you started um
and the idea is to give us short answers so um don't think too much about it
Brett is the person who administers the poison so I'm gon to defer to Brett here right looking forward to the toxin here
we are for the lightning round what was the first science fiction
you remember being exposed to on TV or books my dad took me at a very early age
to see 2001 ad at the West End in London and I still haven't
recovered 2001 A Space Odyssey I remember seeing it um in New Zealand in
1977 with the intermission with some friends and I lost my ticket during the
intermission and and and had trouble getting back in for the second half but oh my god um what technology has most
changed Humanity mobile phone name a futurist or entrepreneur
that has influenced you and why well strangely and weirdly Rob Turk is the
only guy that I've uh when I was at a conference 20 years ago um was talking about mobile phone use in Africa and I
thought that's my dude because I think like that as well that's that's nice you to say thank
you very much it's true bro it's true yeah what is the best prediction an entrepreneur futurist or science fiction
practitioner has ever made in your opinion probably the Matrix I think that I think
they're in a or the Matrix or The Truman Show one of those two things I'm definitely under a hood um I'm
definitely a product of a teenager's mind in 2055 100% recent facts have borne that
out interesting and the last one is uh if you were to pick a science fiction
story or some sort of uh forecast for the future as most representative of the
future you hope for can you ident ify I can't I think we're
doomed I honestly can't mean quite far I can't think of anything that's positive do you know what I mean okay okay on
that on that Sunny note we're gonna take bre um hang in there folks because we'll come back and we'll be more upbeat and
optimistic after this
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fintech podcast and radio [Music] show welcome back to the futurists I am
your host Brett King with my co-host Rob Turk uh this week in the hot seat is our
mutual friend and acquaintance Monty mford um Monty before the break we were
talking about sort of adaptation and uh and so forth in in
respect to the impact of various Technologies um you know over the years
you've reported on a lot of this stuff for the BBC and and so forth um are you
surprised at the fact that you know when looking at these things um you know from
a societal perspective we tend to be quite um unprepared for the changes that
these Technologies bring upon us and we tend to debate whether or not things are going to change right up until the point
it does change you know uh we had Thomas Frey on uh the show earlier a few months
ago and he you know he says we're we're very backward looking as a species in
terms of um anticipating change and so forth and you know you hear the likes of
Peter diamandi is talking about the fact that people can't think exponentially but why is it that we're so bad at
really assessing the potential of these Tech Technologies and so forth and how
they will change society well there's a question I mean it's all about the thing that I've been
pretty obsessed about recently is time right so I just read I'm one of the few people on the planet to honestly admit
that I've read all seven books of In Search of Lost Time by Marcel PR right W
everyone reads swans way reads the first one and then say they've read it but they've never read it's actually such it's so amazing that that that that
literature that you have to you have to stop reading because it's so beautiful right once you get into it's a story
about a bouro kid in a boura house that his memory is triggered by eating a
piece of meline cake you know I as I was reading it I thought actually you know my relationship with time I live near a
bus station when I was a kid when I could hear the buses reversing I know it was midnight and it was time time to go
to sleep you know what I mean so so the way that he he processes time is is
pretty much my God in a way you know and I'm I'm my name is Monty mford my real
name is Paul Christopher mford and I was christened by a mate at school when I was 11 because he couldn't say my
surname properly so there is no Paul mford on the internet there's no Paul mford even my ex-wife couldn't marry me
in the name of Paul but I was reading a New Yorker piece recently that we we are different people at different times
right it's kind of obvious kids you know puberty middle-age father old but I
think it's interesting we know that maybe we should name ourselves different names as we go through life life you
know I'm sure Rob you've been Robert and I'm sure Brett you've been you know Mr King or whatever BK BK you know that um
so so when it comes to the question when I'm going around it in a slightly convoluted way is that because of the
nature of memory and the nature of time and the fact that as you said we do Look Backwards that it's almost impossible to
tell the future right you know I sometimes think that I'm a vessel of time I am just a vessel
of time and something circular is rolling around me that sometimes I I think I can hear the future or or see
the future maybe because I've linked that up with a memory that happened about when I was four when I was 12 or
these different iterations of oneself you know so I think that anyone I mean I
don't really want to know the future you know I want to make sure the world what of the future is to you well well
exactly's a reluctant futurist I'm a reluctant futurist right but I have obviously I have a 20-year-old son you
know I absolutely totally want to know the future for his sake yeah and he'll probably say like it's my future dad you
know what I mean I'm not that interested you know it's it's my life so hey Monty let me
ask you a question and respond to what you just said because you're talking about the nature of time super good
question and the fact that the only way we can you you the only things that exist are the past our memory of the past and the Present Moment Like We
There is no future it's not written yet it's not like it's a book it's unfolding right and we can influence it as well um
but but one of the things I've noticed and I've been thinking about lately because um a uh a PhD student at the
University of Indiana contacted me out of the blue and said that he's writing a history of mobile games ah and he
discovered to his great interest that there were mobile games before there was an iPhone and he somehow tracked me down
and said you ran the mobile gang conference in the 2000s can you tell me about mobile games before the iPhone and
all of a sudden I realized like oh my gosh I've become history I be I'm a repository of history and I had
all of these uh all these old presentations from the game developer conference from the early 2000s before
the iPhone and shared that with him and we had this kind of fun conversation um
which ended up including some of the other people that used to work on that event with me so I had a chance to rekindle some old conversations and in
that process what occurred to me is we've seen this before like Monty you
and I have seen this before every time there's one of these new technologies that's being geared up and rolled out
don't you feel like wait I know how this movie ends I've seen this movie maybe this is the third or fourth it's like
the Avengers series you know it's like same movie again and again and again uh but even now as the tech industry is
trying to foist uh some version of a of an AI generative AI on everybody in some
fashion or another it sort of has the flavor of previous events previous rollouts of Technology what's your take
on that is do you feel like there's a recurrence of time do you see repeating patterns well I think I used to but
because because you know when the internet came along that changed my life and then I thought what what's the next
thing it's mobile what's the next thing and I mean like you love I was at those conferences and the pioneer of mobile
games myself I mean yes of course I worked for localization company um and
took them into mobile games because we had two ipacs and we just tested a very basic form of Tomb Raider and and the
the you know the telephone wires just were red hot with Vodafone orange even
our mutual friend I think you know forgot his name which is terrible um you
know we were there you know but but I and I thought well this is I I'm trying to think of it if I thought of that that
as bad that people would be sitting on their phones playing games did I think that was bad I must have done you know
what I mean but it didn't stop me being part of that Revolution I mean we we worked for for an aggregator in 2007 we
were styed by the launch of the iPhone because we would I did a deal with Vodafone $2 million a year test all of
their phones uh their games on Vodafone live Vodafone Global um and we didn't see the iPhone coming as a aggregator
and a publisher we were offered um we were offered Angry Birds a 51% share of
Angry Birds um for for a qu of a million dollars and we said no
you know um of which you know the Rio guys used to call us roio killer and now
you're definitely not a futurist then a
loser so so I suppose I must have thought it it was bad in some respects
but generally I thought it was amazing you know and then I saw revolutions being arranged by SMS I saw you know
people that couldn't hear being able to communicate with vibration with with
text you know I thought it was amazing but I didn't see it putting sves of
knowledge workers or intelligent people out of work I didn't see that I mean that's the that's the thing that you
know the story that you said about you know a whole team being um made unemployed or fired with Tessa or whatever her name is
you know that isn't even decent AI you know there's a lot of Bad actors say well I'll just sack everyone I'll use
that I mean customer service is going to suffer qualities is going to suffer so
so I suppose I must have seen you know I do think it is that things do revolve and I think every generation something
comes along but I would go back to the conversation I had with Frederick from Easy translate earlier this week you
know he said it is already happening it is not happening he said I'm at the
right the you know at the kind of bridge head of all this stuff it it's changed everything in the last three months
already it's changed things and I think we're to not talking about the future with generative AI we're talking about
the past that is the weird thing you know we're talking you know you're you're clearly futurist I'm a reluctant
one and we're talking about generative AI it's going to change everything it
has changed everything yeah you know and it's and it's like wildfire you know you
can pull any story out of any conversation that you have with anyone at a conference or is is is is is is
together with with with it whether they're in fintech or whether they're in you know any other other form of Technology this is utterly
transformative and I know that people are scared of it and I know that people are saying whole you know great pioneers
of of the technology are stepping back but things can't happen too quickly you
know it doesn't matter if you're if you're 15 or or 21 the revolutions that I've seen you know have been
slower what what kind of future do you look forward to for your son when you think about your children what do you
think of what do you think of the world they're going to live in well I mean I mean I encourage him to get out there
into the world and travel right this my my son is not a Drifter like I've been all my life he's a driver he wants to
work with animals he wants to work with data he's doing zoology Le University you know I think he's going to have an
amazing life I don't think he's ever going to get he's ever going to get rich I don't think he even cares he has you
know support from from my family and his his mother's family you know he's a lucky boy and he and he he really
realizes that he is you know so I think he's going to be fine it's the other sons that I worry about you know the
ones that haven't got an education the ones that don't really know what to do with themselves they don't get that all
important summer job you know or they're just drifting around you know street corners at night and doing bad things
and you know getting into impressionable Behavior okay we're going down into the spiral again we've got a p we
got you got to be positive man you know what about paralyzed guy that can walk
again right what about the middle-aged guy who has his young teenage son's
blooding no I'm sorry it's easy it's easy to do I don't know thank you pulling me up I think they obviously
amazing things you know you know what I mean healthwise you know mental health I think things like that which is which
but mental health has been the buzz phras since the pandemic yeah Neil Neil degrass Tyson um you know said we're on
the cusp of you know know understanding the brain in ways that will enable us to
um get rid of all mental health uh conditions you know um that we we have
today or or or adapt to them and then um that can't come fast enough that can't
come because there's there's an epidemic right now of mania hey Monty what's going on in the UK with respect to
brexit give us like a near-term forecast for the UK has brexit worked out the way it was supposed to um well I mean I'll
put my now you now my color I was never a leader I think that means that
means you can read that's all that tells me well I mean it's probably a little
bit more complicated there's people I respect that that that wanted to you know they wanted to wanted to wanted to
leave probably because of immigration and and things like that you know but I'm I think it's the biggest longest
suicide suicide worst economic decision that Britain has made in its in its
lifetime yeah the has the UK reestablished its trade arrangements with with Europe or are they still being
hammered out I kind we kind of lost the thread here because the US stop covering it well hopefully generative AI will
make those decisions a lot quicker you know that may be its one benefit it might sort out brexit yeah that's it
that's that's the takeaway from this discussion um is that generative AI is going to help us with brexit it's just
slow man you know it's just slow and and it's just I've got a friend of mine who lives in n skill which is on the border
of Northern irelands and irand and it just it's just ridiculous you know what
I mean if he wants to bring anything over the Border you know Andis Gillan used to be Bandit country in the day you
know lots of things went across that border that were not you know tables and chairs if you know what I mean I I just
I think that there's a fatigue here of a a conservative party it was utterly
entropic um has been run by buffoons um and everyone's had enough
why don't you tell us what you really think no well it's the thing how come
the opposition can't get it together to come up with a decent candidate they've got a decent he's a decent guy he's got
a Knighthood he's a lawyer you know he's not very charismatic but who wants Charisma after the Charisma that we've
had over the last three or four years yeah Boris Johnson had plenty of Charisma oh dude honestly I once I was
once in a taxi when you you know I you know I interviewed Boris Johnson for break Banks a few years ago before he
was before he was prime minister that was that was fun well I was in a taxi but he was Lord mayor and I saw him in
front of me on my bicycle and I was very tempted to throw some it into his spokes of his wheels and I sometimes wish I'd
done it you know like like the blokey should have could have solved a big problem for absolutely the
world I think you're depressed I think you're depressed you're like I'm not depressed I'm in a state of M of
joy but but Monte here here's the thing so we were promised this bright bright future right the people who are in favor
of brexit spent more than a year telling everyone how it was going to be better how it improve National healthare I
remember having a conversation a conservative person in the UK uh over dinner who said the UK is going to
become like Singapore we'll reduce the taxes to Flat 15% we're going to become this free trade zone a center of
innovation and I was like no kidding where's your lean U because you need to have like a benevolent dictator to trick
off and at the time it was Boris right that was who that was the Prime Minister but he was very very sunny um now years
have past uh the chickens have come home to roost right the returns are in the UK
economy is not doing better I think it's very simple it's you know and I'll let
Monty jump in but you know it's very simple you don't cut off your biggest
trading partner okay right okay I'm with you but what about people in the ukuk
tough imigration policies has that message sunk in have people realized that they were that they were basically
lied to has that message resonated well I think I think there's a lot of people that realize that it's that in spite of
their polarity that they wish they' voted differently but you use Lee Lee in
Singapore I mean I mean I remember a quote from from Anthony Burgess saying you know go to the peace peaceful unmi
Haven of Lee Singapore dot dot dot where where where men with long hair are
visibly thrown off the streets and thrown into barber chairs that type of fascism yeah you know I think that that
part of it is definitely part of the UK at the moment I was driving the other day you know just locked off at a
service station near Oxford and there was a huge orange sign that said thank you for visiting this service station
your number plate has been taken down and recorded and it's like is that that's not a benevolent dictator that is
a threat you know what I mean and and that there is there are elements of here
especially on the roads with so many cameras like six million you know speed cameras that there is a form of an
Ireland state after brexit right with the Very Bad Things of it you know I'm
not I am I'm not how can I as a brenford fan who's whose team was in League 2 10
years ago and is about to finish in the top half of the ship how can I be a pessimist I love I love the future
especially when it comes to brenford FC but there is a there is a there's a feeling here of fatigue what about rexam
and and yeah but that's not as much no dude that's just that's Wales mate this is like proper London you know what I
mean proper London proper London so so Monty um I do want to sort of bring it
back to the futurist stuff um this at this part of the show before we wrap up what we like to do is like to get a bit
far further f a field so um you know 20 30 years out let's get a bit sci-fi you
know what excites you about that future what concerns you about that future what what do you think uh um you know some of
the things we're going to have to deal with over the next 30 Years that are going to challenge us are well I think
you're gonna have to deal with North V South as opposed to East V West I think
I think that's going to have to be sorted out I I a who works for an American milit contractor said you know
forget about you know Arnold's fener and Terminator it's already here you know
they're doing stuff in Somalia where they're choosing a patch of ground and sending drones to kill everything in
that area coming soon to a Ukraine near you you know what I mean that type of thing is going on but again you know on
the positive side if we have kind of cloud computing and we have ai and we
have the mind of the human all put together this there's an amazing things you know you you talk about a world for
my son he's going to live for a long time unless he's unlucky yeah you know what I mean he's going to live for a
long time he's probably going to live for 50 years longer than I have yeah you know those there challenges there but
you know the world is a beautiful place man you know the sun comes up every day and it's usually beautiful when it comes
up and it's usually beautiful when it's when it goes down it certainly makes a human think about life as much as
someone who's sitting around a fire or smoking a cigarette you think about fire you think about warmth being human is
amazing do you think do you think these changes will make us more human then you
know because it it will it will get us away from the distraction of capitalism
and the grind and enable us to explore what it is to be human well what what it
might do Brett is it might tip it in favor of good over evil I mean because that's the decoty and that's the that's
the world that we live in this manic World between good and evil right you know I'm I'm good I I think you two are
good most people I know are good with your tosser involved you know what I mean but but anything that can I mean
like you see flawed but we try our best yeah but I don't want it to just be like oh that's so flawed it's so human it's
such a Trope you know our humanity is beautiful but it's flawed why should it
be flawed why can't we make it UNF flawed and make it that's almost an mission that you know
you you're bound by your spe are bound by your birth I I don't believe in that I believe now now I'm being really
positive right is that I think it's it's a everyone wants to improve right they
want to improve the situation their family want to improve their intellect I'm just I'm reading As You Like It by
Shakespeare at the moment because I didn't know anything about Rosalind who sounds like a bit of a [ __ ] actually do
you know what I mean and to be fair or Orlando is a bit of a [ __ ] as well you know what I mean but that but that I've
I've got I've got that to to finish when I go back to when I go back to my flat you know what I mean I've got another eight books that have arrived in the
post can't wait to get stuck into them I just read PR for God's sake there's so much that's amazing to be human and I
think that's what I'm trying to say is that even though I'm a bit terrified of generative AI I am not going to ignore
it and I'm not going to be Beeman it I'm going to be part of it and I want other people to be part of it as well and
harness this for good not for bad because it could certainly be lose for
bad absolutely well well that's a that's a great note positive note to finish on
um where can where can people find out more about you Monty and I know you're you're working on some uh you're doing
some writing and and so forth at the moment where can we keep up with what you what you're working on social
social's really uh it's it's mford muu n by the way everyone gets it wrong I
bought a wallet smithson's on Bond Street about three weeks ago say you know and they got my initials wrong
there so it's muu n Monty man Ford I'll make sure I remember that for my next
book just put yeah and you I I write a credit in your book Brett king and you
spelled my name wrong as well I've forgotten about that I already paid my
jees for that bro you did you pay for the dinner I'll give you that you know I just wanted to put it out there you know
me for the record Hey listen Rober come to London I'll come to La you know let be lovely to see you you know
it would be great to see you I'm gonna be busy though because I have to go feed all seven volumes of Marcel PR into C
into gp4 and ask it to summarize concisely you terrible man you terrible
terrible man that's that is I'm sure you could ask cat gbt to do that already
actually H read that book it's absolutely beautiful took me two years
well Monty Manford with an N yeah thank you for joining us on the futurists and
uh we wish you all the best for the for the future that's it for the futurist this week if you've uh if you've enjoyed
the show give us a shout out on social media um you know mention Monty in your tweets or your post um you know and uh
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think about the pipeline of of shows that we can we can bring to you guys um you know and if there's specific uh
parts of the future you'd like us to explore let us know via social media as well uh but our thanks also go out to
the team at provoke media for their support of the show Kevin hen our audio
engineer Elizabeth sens our producer and uh the the entire team at provoke that's
it for the futurist this week but you can be sure that we will see
you in the [Music]
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